M. VENKAIAH NAIDU,
“We talk of alliance during elections. Now we talk about reliance, not the company, but reliance on people’s support.”
Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, was to deliver his first major speech after assuming his post following Jayalalithaa’s untimely passing.
As india today Group Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie put it, “Good, bad or unfortunate, there’s never a dull moment when you’re in the south.” The January 9 and 10 conclave certainly lived up to that billing, leading the headlines in Chennai and other southern capitals. Sasikala launched the two-day conclave by unveiling a special photo exhibition of ‘Amma’, her late leader and close friend. The leader now N. CHANDRABABU NAIDU, Andhra Pradesh chief minister
“I’m a reformist. I have never created problems for the Centre on policy issues.”
called ‘Chinnamma’ was visibly emotional, at one point wiping away her tears with a handkerchief.
Panneerselvam, for his part, quite pointedly mentioned that his government was “following the path set by Amma”. As india today Group Editorial Director (Publishing) Raj Chengappa put it while introducing Sasikala, Jayalalithaa certainly remains “a woman whose absence is as overwhelming as was her presence”.
There were other political talking points besides the Sasikala drama: four southern chief ministers in attendance and sharing the stage for the first time; the BJP’s M. Venkaiah Naidu announcing the party’s ambitious plans for the south; and Sasikala’s other rival, M.K. Stalin, making his debut as the DMK’s new working president as his father, veteran leader M. Karunanidhi, battles illness.
There were heated debates, with Tamil Nadu’s greatest actor, Kamal Haasan, igniting a national storm by speaking out in defence of the controversial bull-taming sport, jallikattu. There were captains of industry explaining the south’s success story and what the rest of India could
KERALA CM PINARAYI VIJAYAN LIGHTS THE LAMP AS RAJ CHENGAPPA, UNION MINISTER VENKAIAH NAIDU, ANDHRA PRADESH CM CHANDRABABU NAIDU, DMK’S M.K. STALIN AND AROON PURIE LOOK ON